Dota 2 has fallen out of the top three as Mobile games made an impact last year.

Despite the COVID pandemic, the esports industry has continued to break new viewership and player numbers. 2021 was the year when we have seen the rapid rise of mobile esports titles and that is reflected in ESCharts’ Top 5 Esports games of 2021. Here are the most-watched esports titles of 2021.

The most-watched esports titles include a mix of mobile esports titles as well as the more-familiar big PC names. League of Legends still leads the pack followed by Valve’s CS: GO. 

Most Watched esports games of 2021

League of Legends

No surprises here as Riot’s League of Legends continues to set new viewership records. LoL has one of the strongest grassroots systems in place in esports with individual leagues for different regions across the world. League of Legends had 664 million hours watched in 2021.

League of Legends reached a peak viewership of 4018728 during the Worlds 2021 Grand Finals. A big chunk of the changes comes from regional league viewership, especially the LEC and the LCK. 

Worlds 2021 also entered the top 2 esports events in history only behind Free Fire World Series 2021 Singapore (which had 5.4 million peak viewers). 

CS: GO

Valve’s Counter-Strike continues to go strong especially after the biggest CS: GO Major till date with the PGL Stockholm Major 2021.

CS: GO had 410 million hours watched with the peak viewership coming during the CS: GO Major in Sweden. The Grand Finals between G2 esports and Natus Vincere drew CS: GO fans from all around the world. Navi eventually won the series and the first title for the organization despite its long history in the game.

Besides the Major, the Counter-Strike scene also had several other leagues and tournaments including the BLAST Premier events and ESL Pro League tournaments.

Mobile Legends Bang Bang

A new entrant to the top three this year, Mobile Legends Bang Bang was the third-most watched esports title of 2021. This is the first time that Dota 2 is not in the top three as the rise of mobile esports viewership continues unabated. MLBB tournaments managed to generate 386.9 million hours watched this year.

The title saw large viewership mostly from Indonesia, Malaysia as well as the Philippines. The game reached a peak of 3.2 million viewers during the M3 World Championship playoffs. What is interesting is that MLBB has had the lowest airtime in this list at just 5170 hours. Despite the low air-time, MLBB has significantly increased its viewership in 2021.

Dota 2

Valve’s MOBA had a record prize pool of $40 million and that was just 25% of battle pass sales. Dota 2 saw a 27% increase in viewership numbers compared to 2020. With 347.6 million hours watched, the Dota 2 esports’ circuit has seen increasing viewership and interest. 

TI10 accounted for nearly 30% of the Dota 2 viewership. The event saw Team Spirit with a miracle run all the way from the lower bracket to win the tournament. It was a surprise victory, but it was one that highlighted that Dota 2 is still a game where youngsters can grind and win the biggest event out there.

Dota 2 had 10,528 hours of air-time with an average CCV of 33,022. 

PUBG Mobile

PUBG Mobile rounds off the list at the fifth position. The mobile version of the battle royale game has become extremely popular in recent years and is the fifth-most watched esports title of 2021. PUBG Mobile grew partly due to its popularity in India. But it received a massive setback after it was banned in India. Despite the setback, PUBG Mobile viewership has remained significant in the subcontinent. 

With 216 million hours watched, PUBG is the fifth most-watched title on this list. It had 8963 hours of airtime. The PMGC Season 0 achieved a peak viewership of 2,801,998. 

More recently, PUBG Mobile announced significant changes to its esports structure, including new regions.


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Rohan - Content Editor

Rohan

Content Editor | Twitter: @rohan_esports | Twitch: rohan_3105

Started esports with Dota, moved to CS, then OW, back to Dota 2 and now a bit of Valorant. I love city-building games, have spent hours in Cities:Skylines only to have the traffic defeat me. Love travelling, an admirer of fine movies, writing a sci-fi novel in spare time and coding (Javascript)